May Is National Water Safety Month
Our four water parks are among our top draws, and there are parks throughout our system that offer beach access, cable water-skiing, fishing, boating, and more.
With so many water-based attractions, water safety is a top concern. Our SWIM Central
program – Broward County’s primary resource and referral service for available swim programs – has reached roughly half a million children since its inception in 1999. Every summer three of our parks also offer an extensive "Learn to Swim" program (see story below)
. And we have a dedicated, highly trained lifeguard staff that routinely receives recognition from Ellis & Associates
We’re observing National Water Safety Month
this May – and every other month as well. We hope you enjoy our water amenities, and we encourage you to make water safety a priority for you, too.
Looking for some plants to spruce up your home landscape? Look no further than the Broward County Plant Affair
. The popular event – co-sponsored by the Plantation Historical Society
– takes place the weekend of May 2 and 3 at Plantation Heritage Park, where you’ll find a plant show and sale with plenty of specialty vendors. Among the offerings: native plants, bonsai, orchids, cyclamens, bougainvillea, and bromeliads, as well as gardening supplies and porch and patio items. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call Betty Cobb at 954-581-6464, or the park at 954-357-5135, ext. 0. Plantation Heritage
is accessible via Broward County Transit
The Learn to Swim program returns to C.B. Smith, Central Broward Regional, and T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) parks next month, with the first of five regular sessions starting on June 8 and the final session ending on August 13. These classes will meet for a total of eight 30-minute lessons, Mondays through Thursdays. This year Central Broward Regional will also offer two weekend sessions that meet for a total of six 45-minute lessons.
Classes will be offered only if minimum enrollment is met. Rained-out classes will be made up on Fridays, and each two-week session is limited to two make-up lessons only. Six different courses are offered, designed for ages 2 and up, from preschool through age 10. Schedules and courses available will vary depending on the park. Preregistration is encouraged and begins on May 1. The fee is $50 per session plus sales tax.
For additional information, call C.B. Smith
at 954-357-5170, Central Broward Regional
at 954-357-5400, or T.Y.
at 954-357-8811. C.B. Smith is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #5, #7, #16, #23, and 95 EXPRESS; Central Broward Regional via Routes #18, #36, #40, and #81; and T.Y. via Routes #12 and #16.
Two major holidays this month provide opportunities for a fun outing in a park: Mother’s Day
, on Sunday, May 10, and Memorial Day
, on Monday, May 25. All Broward County parks will be open their regularly scheduled hours (except Deerfield Island Park
, which will be closed on Memorial Day per its normal operating hours). Shelters and indoor facilities of all sizes are offered for rent. Reservations are required, however, so call now to check availability. All shelters have picnic tables, most have grills, and many also have water, electricity, and restrooms. Amenities at indoor facilities vary. Freestanding picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout most of our parks. For more information, visit our Website
. Enjoy your holiday in the park!
Put your horse sense to good use when Tradewinds Park & Stables offers its popular annual Summer Horse Camp. The program, for ages 9 through 16, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting on June 8 and ending on August 13.
Two years ago the program introduced four levels of camp. One-day sessions ($75/day) are offered on June 8, 9, 10, and 11. Two-day sessions ($150) are available June 15-16, 17-18, 22-23, and 24-25. Four-day intermediate sessions ($300) run July 6-9, 13-16, and 20-23. And four-day advanced sessions ($400) are August 3-6 and 10-13. (All fees are subject to Florida sales tax.)
Class size is limited; early registration is recommended. Fees must be paid and a release and waiver of liability signed at registration. Children must provide their own lunches and refreshments. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. Participants should also bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a towel.
Find Ongoing Excitement - At a County Water Park
Our four aquatics facilities – including the new Paradise Pipeline four-waterslide complex at Paradise Cove
at C.B. Smith Park
(954-357-5170) in Pembroke Pines – continue their season. From Thursday, May 7 through Sunday, May 31, the following water parks will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.: Paradise Cove; Tropical Splash
at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium
(954-357-5400) in Lauderhill; Splash Adventure
at Quiet Waters Park
(954-357-5100) in Deerfield Beach; and Castaway Island
at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park
(954-357-8811) in Hollywood. The water parks will also be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Sessions will be in effect on Saturdays and Sundays and on Memorial Day at Splash Adventure and Tropical Splash. Details on the schedule from June through September (October at Paradise Cove) are available on our water park Web page
The Birds and the Bees (and the Butterflies, Too)
Things with wings are the focus of several programs this month. At 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, Quiet Waters Park will offer a Bald Eagle Walk & Watch. That same morning, starting at 8:30 a.m., there will be a Bird Walk at Deerfield Island Park. Another Bird Walk is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 10, at Tall Cypress Natural Area. All three of these walks are $3/person (plus sales tax), and more information on each is available by calling Quiet Waters at 954-357-5100.
This month’s Sunset Nature Walks at Miramar Pineland will have the theme “The Bee’s Knees.” These walks are at 7:30 p.m. and require preregistration. The fee is $3/person (plus sales tax). Call the park at 954-357-8776 to find out more or to sign up.
Finally, amateur lepidopterists, a.k.a. butterfly enthusiasts, can indulge their passion several times this month. On Saturday, May 9, there’s a free Blooms & Butterflies
program at Secret Woods Nature Center
at 2 p.m. For more information, call the park at 954-357-8884. On Thursday, May 14, the Broward Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association
meets at Plantation Heritage Park
at 6:30 p.m. Call the park at 954-357-5135 for more details.
Then on Saturday, May 16, Everglades Holiday Park
will offer a Science Eye Nature Program: Butterflies in Bloom
. The free program, which starts at 9 a.m., is limited to 50 participants, first-come, first-served. For more information, contact Science Eye
at 1-800-2SCIENCE. Also on May 16, at 1 p.m., Butterfly World
at Tradewinds Park
will offer a Butterfly Gardening Workshop
, free with paid admission. For more info, call Butterfly World at 954-977-4400.
Looking to get away without going far away? Look no farther than Easterlin Park, Quiet Waters Park, or T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park, which will offer summer camping specials: from May 1 through October 31 at Easterlin, May 1 through September 7 (Labor Day) at T.Y., and June 1 through September 30 at Quiet Waters.
The Escape Special at Easterlin, which runs from Sundays through Thursdays, offers a stay of one or more nights for up to four campers for $25 plus tax per night; two additional campers can be added at $3 each. The Family Fun Package, available on Fridays and Saturdays only, offers a two-night stay for up to four campers for $50 plus tax per site; two additional campers can be added for $3 each. The park has 10 sites set aside for tent camping, although patrons must bring their own tents. Call the park at 954-357-5190 for more information.
The Find Your Getaway special at T.Y., for up to four campers, offers RV campsites at $30 per site (plus tax) per night seven days a week. The four registered campers will be admitted free to the park’s Castaway Island water park. Additional campers (up to two, at $3 per night) pay the regular Castaway admission of $8/person ($5/person after 3 p.m.). Reservations are required by calling the park at 954-357-8811.
The terms of the Escape Special and Family Fun Package at Quiet Waters are the same as those at Easterlin. The Rent-a-Tent/Tepee campground at Quiet Waters features 25 sites with platform tents already set up and two sites with tepees. No RV sites are available. Reservations are required by calling the park at 954-357-5100. All Quiet Waters campers are also eligible for discounts at other park attractions. Inquire at the office for details.
Ages 13 to 21 with developmental disabilities are invited to enjoy deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments this month when Fern Forest Nature Center
hosts a Hawaiian Luau Teen Social
. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical-print shirt or even a grass skirt. The free event is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, and preregistration is required by May 10. For more information or to register, call the Parks Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@broward.org
. Fern Forest is accessible via Broward County Transit
Routes #31 and #42.
Walk - It's Good for You
Charles Dickens was of the opinion that “If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish,” while the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” President Harry S Truman’s advice was to “Take a two-mile walk every morning before breakfast.”
And what better place to walk – or hike or stroll – than a park? Here are some group opportunities this month. Nominal fees – typically $3 to $5 – apply for some programs, and a weekend gate entrance fee of $1.50/person (children 5 and under free) is in effect at applicable parks.
- Bald Eagle Walk & Watch – Sat., May 2, 8 a.m., Quiet Waters Park (954-357-5161)
- Bird Walk – Sat., May 2, 8:30 a.m., Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Nature at Night Hike – Sat., May 2, 8 p.m., Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Sunset Nature Walk: The Bee’s Knees – Wed., May 6, 7:30 p.m., Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Off-Trail Hike – Sat., May 9, 10 a.m., Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Bird Walk – Sun., May 10, 7:30 a.m., Tall Cypress Natural Area (954-357-5100)
- Sunset Nature Walk: The Bee’s Knees – Sun., May 10, 7:30 p.m., Miramar Pineland (954-357-8776)
- Sunset Kayak & Stroll – Fri., May 15, 7:30 p.m., Deerfield Island Park (954-357-5100)
- Nature at Night Hike – Fri., May 15, 8 p.m., Long Key Natural Area & Nature Center (954-357-8797)
- Plankton-a-Plenty Hike – Sat., May 16, 11 a.m., Anne Kolb Nature Center (954-357-5161)
- Nature at Night Hike – Sat., May 16, 8 p.m., Pine Island Ridge Natural Area at Tree Tops Park (954-357-5130)
- Night Hike – Sat., May 16, 8 p.m., Helene Klein Pineland Preserve (954-357-5100)
- Broward Nature Bike & Hike – Sat., May 30, 4 p.m., Saw Palmetto Natural Area (954-357-5100)
Solo walking is also popular at most of our parks. Visit Broward.org/Parks for a complete list.
Get Ready for the Slide of Your Life
In light of recent record-breaking heat, here’s a great way to cool off: Slip and slide your way down a thousand-foot padded vinyl slide from atop the hill at Vista View Park in Davie, the highest man-made elevation in Broward. From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, in conjunction with Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), the park will host Slide the City
, to benefit Special Olympics Florida. Participants should bring their own inflatable tubes. Other activities will include deejay music, food trucks, a beer garden, kids’ games, and BSO vehicle walk-throughs. Fees vary. For more info, call the park at 954-357-8898 or visit SlideTheCity.com
|Quote of the
"Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." - American writer Mark Twain (1835-1910)